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   The National Employment Network Association

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October 2023

It's time for the latest NENA E-News!

Your source for news, resources, and advocacy 

for your Employment Network (EN).

Conference Recap

Greetings on behalf of the NENA Board!

It was so great to see so many of you at the 13th Annual NENA National Training Conference in Baltimore. We had 35 states represented, including Hawaii! We had 24 VR representatives and a total of 193 attendees. There were 103 baseball fans who attended our networking event at the Orioles game. We had 22 breakout sessions and 1104 messages through the Whova app. Did we mention the new NENA logo, 3 birds on a wire, the tiny trophy awards and so many raffle prizes! Since returning, we continue to receive positive feedback and we welcome your comments.

This year we had two keynote speakers. Dr. Rev. Chase encouraged us to remember we are all more alike than different, that our stories matter, and that words are important. What we see and what others see may be totally different so it’s important to listen to each other and not make assumptions.

Jesi Stracham, a Ticketholder herself, shared her story Jesi w/ Full Circle Employment Solutions Teamsand road to employment. She gave a message of hope that we are not alone in our struggles and that we can find community. That we, NENA members, are a community! She inspired us to be the change we want to see. You can listen to her entire address here.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to our Sponsors and Exhibitors for their participation including DirectEmployers Association, Applied Development, Setworks, Therap Services, Text-Em-All, SkillTran LLC and MeasureOne. We also thank those of you who donated raffle prizes. We know the attendees loved having the winning number!

This year we were fortunate enough to have Federal and Ticket partners participate as well. NENA would like to thank the Social Security Administration, Ticket Program Manager, Department of Labor, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Cornell University and many others! Your participation was greatly appreciated! We are already discussing plans for next year’s conference.

It was a very full and rewarding two and half days that couldn’t be accomplished without the conference committee, board members and NENA’s amazing administrative assistant Marah! After participants left, the NENA Board met to share feedback, recap and review the conference as well as start planning for different 2024 events and trainings.

We truly are grateful for each one of you and your support of NENA and the Ticket to Work program! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to being of service!

To your continued success,

Amy Wallish, NENA Board Chair

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

 2023-2024 NENA Board of Directors

2023-2024 NENA Board of Directors

NENA Conference Recap by Numbers:

193 attendees

7 sponsors

103 Orioles Tickets

22 Breakout Sessions

2 keynote speakers

1104 WHOVA Messages 

3 Birds on a Wire

21 Gallons of Coffee

News to Know

September 5, 2023

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides routine reminders to Employment Networks (EN) regarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in accordance with your Ticket Program Agreement, Part III, Section 8.E.

SSA’s policy regarding an EN’s transmission of PII to SSA and TPM states:

  • ENs are prohibited from sending PII by email to the SSA and TPM, even if it is encrypted. The only exception is when ENs submit encrypted documentation to the Center for Suitability and Personnel Security as part of the Suitability process.
  • ENs are prohibited from sending any portion of a Social Security number by email.

SSA will enforce the following consequences against ENs that transmit PII through email to the agency or to the Ticket Program Manager (TPM):

First Violation

  • The Signatory Authority or Suitability Contact must send a statement to SSA describing how your EN will mitigate the PII security issue within five days of receiving the violation notification.
  • SSA will remove the EN from ePay for three months or one ePay file, whichever comes first.
  • SSA requires the EN to complete a virtual classroom refresher training on Properly Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information.

Second Violation

  • The Signatory Authority or Suitability Contact must submit a PII quality control plan to ensure no further violations occur within five days of receiving the violation notification.
  • SSA will require that the EN participate in a call involving EN Leadership and SSA to discuss the quality control plan and consequences of a further violation.
  • SSA may remove the EN from ePay for one year.

Third Violation

  • SSA may terminate the EN due to noncompliance with the requirement to protect PII.

If an EN needs to submit PII to SSA or TPM, the EN must use any of the methods noted below:

  • Email: work case (WC) number to
  • Fax: 1-703-893-4020
  • Mail: P.O. Box 1433, Alexandria, VA 22313
  • Call the Payments Help Desk: 1-866-949-3687 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)
  • Government-to-Government Services Online (GSO): for Services and Supports ONLY

TPM will route all faxes and mail to the correct department. Please allow extra time for processing.

Best practices for faxing or mailing PII to TPM:

  • Always use a cover sheet.
  • Include the EN name, Provider ID (PID) and state where you are located.
  • Include the subject and area of interest, for example, “Services and Supports Review.”
  • Organize documents so that all pertaining to one Social Security number are grouped together.
  • If faxing, always print a confirmation sheet in case there are faxing issues.

Please contact with any questions concerning the use of electronic systems for transmitting PII.

September 19, 2023

The intent of the Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program is for Employment Networks (ENs) to provide services and supports to the Ticketholder throughout the life of the Ticket. These services and supports should enable the Ticketholder to enter the workforce and maintain employment, with the goal of reducing their reliance on Social Security disability benefits and ultimately achieving financial independence. Ticketholder engagement is crucial to meeting these goals.

Two-way Communication Requirement

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is clarifying the requirements for a successful contact with a Ticketholder, both during the Initial Job Acquisition Phase and the Ongoing Support Phase of a Ticketholder’s progression toward their career goals. SSA is also clarifying the maximum time a Ticket may remain in assignment status without successful contact, including proper documentation of the contact.

ENs must maintain two-way communication with the Ticketholder in which the Ticketholder provides a response. Acceptable forms of contact are in-person meetings, telephone conversations, personalized email messages, voicemail messages received by the Ticketholder, personalized text messages, any form of computerized or telephone app communication (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.), and personalized letters to and from individuals.

Documentation of contact with the Ticketholder should summarize key discussion points, including, but not limited to, issues identified, goal progression and other services provided. Discussion points should be clear and verifiable by third-party reviewers (such as the Ticket Program Manager and SSA).

During the Initial Job Acquisition Phase (i.e., starting with Ticket Assignment through the end of the Phase 1 Milestone Period):

  • At a minimum, the EN shall follow up with the Ticketholder monthly to verify Ticketholder progress and maintain records of these contacts.
  • The EN shall make a minimum of three attempts in a one-month period to make two-way contact with the Ticketholder.
  • In the event the EN does not have a two-way conversation with the Ticketholder, or the Ticketholder requests no contact, the EN shall unassign the Ticket within 60 days from the date of initial contact attempt.

During the Ongoing Support Phase (i.e., Starting with the Phase 2 Milestone Period through Ticket Unassignment):

At a minimum, the EN shall contact and communicate with the Ticketholder quarterly to determine if the Ticketholder requires any ongoing employment supports and maintain records of these communications, including the method of communication.

  • The EN shall make a minimum of three attempts in a three-month period to make two-way contact with the Ticketholder.
  • In the event the EN does not have a two-way communication with the Ticketholder, or the Ticketholder requests no further contact, the EN shall unassign the Ticket within 180 days from the date of initial contact attempt.

Ticketholders Not Working Toward Self-Sufficiency

If a Ticketholder is not meeting the goals outlined in the Individual Work Plan (IWP), the EN shall discuss and document the following:

  • Whether the Ticketholder’s goals are still appropriate.
  • Whether the Ticketholder requires additional services and/or supports to achieve their goals. If required, the Ticketholder’s IWP must be amended.
  • Whether the Ticketholder needs new goals, and how appropriate the Ticketholder’s goals are based on the guidance in Part III, Section 4.A.2 above. If new goals are required, the Ticketholder’s IWP must be amended.
  • Unassignment of the Ticket if the Ticketholder no longer wants to work toward their established goals or revise their goals and is not pursuing self-sufficiency.

SSA has asked ENs to review their current Ticket assignments to ensure that they are within the parameters of this guidance. If ENs have not maintained the required contact with their Ticketholders as annotated in Part III, Section 4.A of the Ticket Program Agreement (TPA), ENs must either contact the Ticketholder in order to attain compliance with the TPA’s IWP revision, and contact requirements or unassign the Ticket.

TPM has extended the original date for random reviews to confirm compliance. TPM will begin incorporating random reviews to ensure adherence to this guidance into our current Service and Support reviews beginning January 2024, with the expectation that ENs began following these guidelines as of May 2023 as instructed in the original GovDelivery message. As such, SSA will send this message to ENs during October, November and December of this year to remind them to prepare for random contact compliance checks during Service and Support reviews beginning in January 2024, as stated above.

These requirements are annotated in Part III, Section 4 of the TPA.

Please direct any questions about this policy to

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Stay Connected

Add the following Upcoming Events to your calendar:

Bulletin Board

Work Incentives Training 

Interested in learning more about Work Incentives Planning? Opportunities are available!

Work Incentives Training


Work Without Limits, an initiative out of UMass Chan Medical School, is seeking to hire a Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor (CPWIC) to support their Employment Network through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program.

To apply visit the ITM jobs webpage ( For more information, please contact:

Full Circle’s EN is hiring multiple C(P)WICs and Program Assistants. These remote positions provide services throughout the country. If you are looking for a truly rewarding job, apply and show us your sparkle!

Help Wanted Job Board

Does your member organization have an internal position available within your organization that you would like to post in the NENA E-News?
As a member courtesy, we will post your opening in our next E-News update one time.

Posting requirements:

  • The posting must be for a specific, EN-related position within your organization (i.e., career specialist, career services provider).
  • Include the title, location, a brief description (25 words max) and contact information on the form.
  • Those interested in applying should contact the EN directly.
  • NENA will have no further information about any posted positions.

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The National Employment Network Association (NENA) serves Employment Networks (ENs), American Job Centers (AJCs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) and other Stakeholders involved in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.

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